The new Markhal building in Rotterdam is an urban hybrid that features 228 apartments arching over a large public food market.

Led by developer Provast and designed by architecture office MVRDV, the mixed-use facility comprises a “horseshoe-shaped” residential exterior that envelopes 96 fresh food stalls and 20 shop units in its hollow core.

The 40-metre tall tunnel structure is clad in gray natural stone and has been glazed on both ends with glass panels and large pre-stressed steel cables nets that allow daylight into the enclosed space.

Inside, a colourful digital ceiling mural by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam features images of produce printed on perforated aluminum panels, which have been attached to acoustic panels for noise control.

The building received a BREEAM Very Good certificate for its energy-efficient design, use of natural ventilation and integration of water-saving systems.

As the first covered market hall in the Netherlands, the Markhal is expected to attract 4.5 to 7 million visitors per year. 

The facility is accesible by public transport and a 4-storey underground parking area has been incorporated to accommodate the projected heavy usage.

Courtesy Designboom